Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said that the Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly needs to urgently re-engage with the scale of the social housing crisis in County Tipperary. Deputy McGrath made his remarks after the Minister accused those attempting to highlight the problem of using the issue as an exercise in political point scoring:
“I think that Minister Kelly has no genuine appreciation of the enormity and immediacy of the housing crisis in County Tipperary.
I am referring not just to the massive level of the problem as it currently stands, but also to the impending social calamity that is coming our way in terms of the numbers of those families facing eviction and home repossessions.
The fact that there are over 1,200 people on housing waiting lists in the Ministers own County with an almost equal amount before the County’s Courts due to mortgage distress is indicative of the total lack of urgency that has been brought to bear on this issue by this coalition Government.
Nowhere is this fact more glaring than in the expected absence of even a single social housing unit to be made available in Tipperary for the entirety of 2015.
Families are at their wits end and all this Minister can talk about is his much hyped ‘strategy’ for dealing with this crisis.
At the very least we need immediate action in terms of rent controls and rent stability for those thousands of families who simply cannot meet the difference between what is given in state support and what they must contribute.
At the moment we are leaving families and individuals fall into deeper and more prolonged poverty, a poverty which this housing crisis is exasperating and for which Labour Ministers responsible for both Welfare and Housing are directly implicated,” concluded Deputy McGrath.